The American Fund for Alternatives to Animal Research
The American Fund for Alternatives to Animal Research (AFAAR) was founded by Dr Ethel Thurston in 1977 as a charitable trust committed to promoting and financing alternatives to animal experiments. Dr Thurston was one of the first and leading supporters of non-animal testing methods: "There are so many advanced possibilities in groups of human cell cultures, computer models and other alternatives," she said. Among the first funded projects was an alternative to the Draize rabbit eye test, which was later adopted by the Colgate Palmolive company.
AFAAR is dedicated to improving the plight of animals, including the prevention of cruelty to animals, and to the education of the public on animal welfare and humane research. AFAAR works to finance research to develop validated alternative test methods, raising funds to award support grants to scientists worldwide to develop or teach non-animal testing. Projects have focused on developing in vitro (test tube) alternatives to the LD50 test, the Draize test, protein destruction and recovery tests, and others. How is the BUAV involved? Michelle Thew, chief executive of the BUAV, is on AFAAR’s board of advisors, working to ensure that the next generation of promising young scientists can develop their careers in positive non-animal technologies. The BUAV is now working closely with US partners NEAVS to manage and develop new programmes for AFAAR.
To find out more about AFAAR, please click here.
European Coalition to End Animal Experiments
The European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) is Europe's leading alliance peacefully campaigning on behalf of laboratory animals. Formed in 1990 by animal organisations across Europe to successfully campaign to ban cosmetics testing on animals, the Coalition now leads campaigning on animal experimentation issues in Europe. The European Coalition draws together organisations with a range of legislative, scientific and political expertise working with parliamentarians, Commission officials and EU citizens to effect change for laboratory animals. The BUAV leads the ECEAE, funds lobbyists and acts as secretariat.
The ECEAE runs a range of lobbying and campaigning initiatives to ensure that laboratory animals are high on the European political agenda. Current activities are centered on the following key priorities:
The ECEAE employs a range of legislative, scientific and political expertise, engaging the public and decision-makers in a multi-disciplinary approach towards ending animal experimentation:
The ECEAE lobbies in Brussels, Strasbourg and through its member organisations at national level to influence legislation. Working with parliamentarians and Commission officials, the Coalition advances the cause of laboratory animals. Whether assisting the passage of key amendments, drafting proposals or providing scientific briefing papers, it ensures that laboratory animals are high on the political agenda.
The ECEAE co-ordinates Europe-wide campaigns to achieve maximum impact. Working with national member organisations, it ensures its message is heard by the media and citizens across the European Union. Current campaigns include the use of primates in experiments in light of the revision of Directive 86/609/EEC on the protection of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes.
The ECEAE compiles in-depth, quality reports to support its work. Written by experts in the field, its research challenges the scientific status quo, examines alternatives available to the use of animals in experimentation and highlights the suffering they undergo while in laboratories. An invaluable resource for decision-makers and media alike, its scientific analysis advances the cause of animals in laboratories.
The BUAV acts as secretariat to the ECEAE, providing its Chief Executive, Policy Officer and Coordinator.
The International Council on Animal Protection at OECD Programmes
The International Council on Animal Protection at OECD Programmes (ICAPO) is a coalition of the major animal protection organisations committed to achieving change in the way chemicals are tested internationally. To find out more please visit their website.
ICAPO seeks to ensure the widest possible integration of alternative methods in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) influential guidelines and programmes. The OECD is an economic alliance of 30 of the world's industrialised countries, co-ordinating the development of standardised chemical testing guidelines which are then adopted by the member countries. The OECD also co-ordinates the development of chemical testing programmes, such as its current programme on endocrine disruptors and nanomaterials
The OECD's testing-related activities historically have relied heavily on animal-based methods. However, since 2002, animal protection has had a formal voice at the OECD in the form of ICAPO. ICAPO works to fully incorporate alternative methods that can replace, reduce, and refine animal use (the "Three Rs") into OECD guidelines, in the interest of animal protection, public health and sound science.
The BUAV is a founding member of ICAPO and works as an active member; this is important as the hugely influential OECD prefers to work with a single body that represents animal protection globally.
International Council on Animal Protection in Pharmaceutical Programs
The International Council on Animal Protection in Pharmaceutical Programs (ICAPPP) is a coalition of the major animal protection organisations committed to achieving change in the way medicines are produced and tested internationally.
ICAPPP aims to ensure the widest possible integration of alternatives to animal testing in concept papers and guidelines produced by the ICH and regional pharmaceutical regulators, in the interests of animal protection, public health and sound science.
The ICH is the International Conference on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use, and is a project that brings together the regulatory authorities of USA, Europe and Japan and experts from the pharmaceutical industry in the three regions. Its purpose is to recommend ways to achieve greater harmonisation of guidelines and requirements for product registration in order to reduce the need to duplicate the testing carried out during the research and development of new medicines.
ICAPPP submits comments on ICH and regional pharmaceutical pre-clinical guidelines, suggesting changes that should (and can) be made, in order to reduce, replace and refine the use of animals to test the safety and efficacy of medicines.
The BUAV is a founding member of ICAPPP and Dr Katy Taylor, the BUAV’s Science Coordinator, acts as secretariat of ICAPPP. It is important for the BUAV to work cooperatively with other animal organisations in ICAPPP because bodies such as the ICH listen to stakeholders when we come together as one united voice.
Mandated Alternatives Petition
The Mandatory Alternatives Petition (MAP) coalition is a group of organisations working together to ensure that the US Government implements alternatives to animals in laboratories. It seeks to improve the way drug testing is done in US laboratories before being tested on people.
The MAP has submitted a formal petition asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to mandate the use of scientifically proven drug testing methods that replace the use of animals. The coalition members and the physicians, scientists, and other experts who have signed the Mandatory Alternatives Petition believe it is a necessary step because there has been little progress in the U.S. toward the adoption of scientifically proven methods that give better results and replace the use of animals for drug testing.
The MAP advocate the replacement of animal-based testing methods that are inaccurate, unvalidated, immensely cruel, and often dangerous for human health. The coalition members are concerned at the number of hazardous drugs approved for human use, the harm they're causing millions of people around the world, and the inability of animal testing methods to detect and prevent these serious consequences.
More reliable testing methods are available, and many more are in development, which can produce safer and more effective drugs than current animal testing methods.
The BUAV is a leading member of the MAP coalition, representing the EU on the group. This is important as the EU is ahead of the US in enshrining the principle of alternatives in law. The MAP coalition is seeking to ensure a consistent international approach to this issue.